It's already here!
"The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering." Exodus 3.7
Yesterday afternoon I tuned into another COP fringe event. This one was for church pastors and was co-hosted by Tearfund Canada and Tearfund Scotland, with a theological reflection from Ruth Valerio. We heard reports, from Ramesh in India and Bereket in Ethiopia, of how climate change is already devastating the farming communities where they work, reversing years of agricultural improvement and plunging whole villages back into the poverty from which they had just begun to claw their way out.
There can no longer be any doubt, climate change is happening. There will be some who still maintain that this is another revolution of the natural cycle, which has governed our planet since its inception. As the evidence to the contrary continues to mount, we can at least all accept that the climate is changing, whatever the cause, and that those least able to cope are being affected first. Our response must surely be compassion; at both personal and governmental levels. That elusive £100bn aid package is the least that should come out of COP 26. Our own government must restore the UK's annual commitment to overseas aid to at least the 0.7% from which it fell. And, if we haven't already done so, let each one of us consider a voluntary tithe of our income for those who need it more.
God heard the cry of his suffering people in Egypt and he liberated them - at the cost of their oppressors. What if it turns out that the suffering of the poor through climate change is due to our overuse of natural resources? Will God not again liberate his suffering people - at the cost of their oppressors? More positively, though, the Bible reassures us that, despite appearances, God is in control and the future is bright - eventually. According to Jesus it's not the rich and powerful who will inherit that future. They have received their reward, even as they are squandering it. The future belongs to the meek...